MOSCOW, July 20 (RAPSI) – The Moscow City Court upheld a six-year prison sentence for former Russian senator Alexander Sabadash who was convicted of attempted embezzlement of 1.8 billion rubles ($32 million), RAPSI reported from the courtroom on Monday.

The investigation into the attempted embezzlement involving Arkhangelsk-based developer ES-Kontaktstroy and JSC Vyborgskaya Cellulose reportedly began several years ago.

Sabadash, believed to be the owner of Vyborgskaya Cellulose, was charged with organizing a fraudulent VAT refund scheme.

In late March, Moscow's Gagarinsky District Court found Sabadash guilty of attempted embezzlement. Ex-senator during the hearing pleaded not guilty. However, the court ruled that Sabadash, acting from mercenary motives, has organized a gang to embezzle 1.8 billion rubles ($32 million) of public funds.

Four more individuals involved in this case have been also sentenced to jail terms ranging from two to six years.

Sabadash was stripped of his seat in the parliament’s upper house, the Federation Council, in 2006 after he was accused of carrying out business activities, which senators are forbidden to do.